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September 1, 2014

Review: The Big Bang Theory - The Gorilla Experiment

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 8th 2009 1:55AM
big bang theory
(S03E10) Do you think it's weird that Sheldon and Penny seem to be having more and more storylines together, but I can't actually remember the last episode in which she and Leonard shared a scene alone? When I did a poll a few episodes ago asking if you think Sheldon and Penny are going to get together, nearly half of you said "yes." I don't necessarily agree, but is it a problem when your character has more chemistry with her boyfriend's friend than her actual boyfriend?

Right now, it's still working for the show, but I'm not sure how much longer they can continue having Leonard and Penny involved in a "relationship" in which they barely speak. However, if they break up, then it would be more difficult for Sheldon and Penny to have so many scenes together, and a great deal of the comedy would be eliminated right there. It's an interesting place where the writers find themselves right now.

I am, however, excited to see the relationship between Wolowitz and Bernadette proceed. Too many times, relationships have been a one- or two-episode throwaway joke, so it's nice to see an ongoing storyline coming out of this one. Plus, Wolowitz hitting on women gets sad and creepy after a while, while seeing him actually trying to maintain any semblance of a normal relationship with a real live girl is just hilarious.

Bernadette has this really odd combination of smart and clueless that's funny right now, but will become grating if they don't find anything for her to do besides laugh at Wolowitz's jokes. I want someone who is going to challenge Wolowitz instead of validating him.

Although, the whole subplot with her interest in Leonard's experiment was interesting, because even though it isn't her field, she seems to want to talk about that a lot more than what Wolowitz does. Is that because she's genuinely interested in physics, or because she's genuinely interested in Leonard? Wolowitz was out of line with the whole, "asking permission" thing, but he wasn't out of line at all when he was feeling jealous -- there was definitely something weird going on there.

Some of my favorite lines from this episode:

"My mother was right; hell is real." - Sheldon

"While I appreciate the 'oh, snap,' I'm uncomfortable having your moist breath in my ear." - Sheldon

"Can't you surprise him in some other way? For example, I bet he'd be delightfully taken aback if you cleaned your apartment." - Sheldon

"It's not enough you get the prom queen, you have to get the head of the decorating committee, too?" - Wolowitz

"Senior fitness was canceled; it turns out you can forget how to ride a bike." - Mrs. Wolowitz

Sheldon: "Why are you crying?"
Penny: "Because I'm stupid!"
Sheldon: "Well that's no reason to cry; one cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid and it makes me sad."

Is there something brewing between Leonard and Bernadette?
Yes! They can talk to each other about physics.101 (17.3%)
No! When you have the prom queen, you don't go after the head of the decorating committee.292 (50.1%)
Yes-- but it's one-sided.190 (32.6%)


(By the way, did you see Chuck Lorre's vanity card after this episode? It's completely insane. I'm amazed that it got past censors.)

[Watch clips of The Big Bang Theory and other shows over at SlashControl.]

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gman

It’s so cute how Bernadette thinks that Howard is, um, cool. I love how Penny knows why Sheldon’s seat is “his seat.” I had a friend once that was like that and thought analytically like that. Bernadette saying that he “lights up” when she laughs was a little too cute. I am so glad that I can watch TV when I’m camping like I will be tomorrow because not only did I miss the entire season but I can catch up with the reruns. My DISH Network employee tailgaiter http://goo.gl/vd4M4 is easy to set up and fits my budget which is important to my wife and me.

September 07 2011 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CC

I hope they don't try to set Sheldon up with someone (Penny or otherwise) - it would be totally out of character.

Though Bernadette's interest in Leonard's experiment did seem a bit odd, I hope they don't make her interested in him. We already had one storyline where Howard's girlfriend (though I don't think Dr. Stephanie - can't remember if that was her name - had actually become Howard's girlfriend) dumped him for Leonard. I'd rather not see that again.

I think Penny asking Sheldon for help with physics was due to a couple of reasons - she knows he's the smartest one of the bunch (he makes this clear every time!), and the two of them have at least a semblance of a relationship. With Howard, he is constantly trying to hit on her, plus he's a mechanical engineer, not a physicist. He may not know exactly/precisely what Leonard is working on.

And Raj - well, unless you get him drunk first, he's not going to be able to tell Penny anything. And if he is drunk, he's liable to start making inappropriate comments.

I loved(!) how Bernadette almost sat in Sheldon's seat and Penny explained why she couldn't. And I did notice how Penny was essentially telling Leonard that his research was just a copycat of the Dutch physicists (as Sheldon had stated earlier), but that everyone else was surprised that she was saying stuff about physics that they didn't even notice WHAT she was saying.

December 08 2009 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cwilliams

I think it's great that first Leonerd goes to Sheldon about football so he can share something with Penny, and then Penny goes to Sheldon about physics. Maybe there where be an episode where Penny and Leonard talk about the the rules of football and how physics applies to throwing and kicking the ball.

December 08 2009 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kell31

I think we will see Bernadette make a play for Leonard and bring the whole Leonard/Penny relationship into question. Bernadette trying to prove she is better than Penny.

December 08 2009 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kell31's comment
MikLamb

I think that's a good point. We've already seen Leonard get jealous, so now there has to be an episode where Penny gets jealous. Could it be with Bernadette? That would make an interesting scenario where Penny has to confront the fact that their relationship has progressed to the point that she's worried about losing Leonard to someone else.

December 08 2009 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tara

You forgot the line where Sheldon told Howard his shoes were nice and asked him where he got them from. Then he said "Bazinga. I didn't really care about your shoes." Haha.

December 08 2009 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Sparks

Penny is a lot smarter than anyone (except maybe Leonard) gives her credit for. And she realizes that there is a real person buried deep, deep, DEEP inside Sheldon. I loved that she "learned her lines" about Leonard's experiment. I am sure he realized that what she said were exactly Sheldon's words.

Oh, and I wouldn't worry about Bernadette falling for Leonard. She is going to fall for Sheldon. It's only logical.

December 08 2009 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim Sparks's comment
Kona Gallagher

I'm glad you mentioned it, because I forgot to. Not only was she just reciting what Sheldon taught her, but she was totally just accusing him of stealing from the Dutch, which is what Sheldon accused Leonard of doing at the beginning of the episode-- although I'm guessing Penny didn't quite realize that she was just insulting her boyfriend.

December 08 2009 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lelolai

Thanks Kona. I think I was confused because in the previous episode (2 weeks ago), Bernadette just seemed kinda ditzy and clueless. And then in this episode she's suddenly smart. I guess she just plays the cute giggly girl for Howard's benefit. She admitted in last night's episode that she does not find him funny, but she laughs anyway because he likes it.

December 08 2009 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lelolai

I'm confused about Bernadette. Wasn't she just a ditzy waitress who works with Penny? Why does she know so much about Biology and Physics? Someone explain because I'm lost. As for Sheldon and Penny's dynamic, I ADORE it. I love the way Penny teases the hell out of Sheldon knowing full well the stuff that sets him off. And I love clever put-downs Sheldon lobs at Penny. Their constant sparring is fun to watch. Leonard's character is always the least interesting of the group. They need to figure something out for him. Raj tends to get many funny one-liners, and Wolowitz has been shown to have multiple sides to him. But Leonard is just nice, and although he is the glue that holds the group together, he is kinda forgettable.

December 08 2009 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lelolai's comment
Kona Gallagher

Bernadette is a microbiology grad student who's working at The Cheesecake Factory to pay for school. http://www.tvsquad.com/2009/10/19/review-the-big-bang-theory-the-creepy-candy-coating-corollary/

December 08 2009 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

Maybe the writers don't think constant sex or romance scenes with L/P are what the show is about. The two seem comfortable with each other, joking and being silly together. Relationship. Penny knows that Sheldon is her friend, even if they don't talk about it. Who else would she go to? Howard? Raj? And Penny explaining about the couch was just as funny as the scene where she was explaining Star Trek shields to the upstairs neighbor a while ago.

December 08 2009 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wax

i love the growth the writers are giving to some of the characters this season. howard getting a girlfriend for example, because yes, it is a bit creepy and (annoyingly) repetitive to see him constantly go out and strike out. hopefully, the relationship will last another few episodes. or more.

secondly, the sheldon / penny relationship. knowing what an all-knowing ass sheldon can be, she still goes to him for help with her relationship with leonard by asking him to teach her. she has to expect he'll be demeaning and cold to her. its who sheldon is.

but i LOVED, loved the scene when bernadette tries to sit in sheldon's spot on the couch and penny goes into this extremely long explanation of why sheldon HAS to sit there and no where else. after nearly 3 years, its good to see she's paying attention and coming to know these geeks and all their manerisms. sheldon caps it off by saying, "there's hope for you yet." that's growth, people. and kudos to the writers for continuing to develop these characters.

next up ... raj learns to talk to women (or just even penny) without being drunk? i hope so. he needs to be used for more than being howard's bromosexual buddy. awesome ep.

December 08 2009 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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